DISCLAIMER: I do not own Sons of Anarchy. All rights, characters and whatever else belong to Kurt Sutter and FX Studios. Only the story idea is mine, and I make no profit- monetary or otherwise- from this production. Unless you want to count the shits and giggles I get from doing it.
A/N: One of these days I'll actually meet a deadline I set for myself...maybe. This is a fic for the holiday season- specifically Christmas- though as you can see, it's already past Christmas. Still the holiday spirit lives on, so hopefully this will brighten your day. Here's my gift to you during this season of giving. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.
And if you don't celebrate Christmas...well um, Happy Holidays, or Happy Winter season :) It's Winter so it's a good season- yay snow!
"Come on. Filip, come on. Wake up." Alex poked Filip's shoulder softly, increasing the strength of his pokes with every word, the older boy grumbling in his sleep and swiping Alex's hand away. "Filiiiip. Come on!" Alex sent a tiny fist flying towards Filip's chest, landing with a solid thump.
Filip grunted with the force, eyelids snapping open revealing blistering brown eyes that startled Alex, sending the small boy to the ground. "Wha's the matter with ya. It's like two in the morn'!"
"We didn' get a tree!" Alex rolled to his feet, hair wild.
"A tree! A Chwismas' tree."
"Wha' are yeh goin' on about?"
"The tree, Filip! We didn' get a tree, but I found one. We have to make it look pretty." Alex tugged on Filip's arm, the older boy following reluctantly. Alex was hyper as all get out, looking like the world was gonna end or something.
"Alex." Filip snapped his hand back before they descended the stairs, the small boy turning back to him, shifting from foot to foot. "Why are ya dragging me outta bed? Why are you even 'ere? Ya suppose' to be 'ome- asleep."
"Filip, come on!" Alex sighed, his blue eyes narrowing in annoyance. "A Chwismas' tree. Where's Santa gonna put the gif's if we don' have a tree!"
"Santa...?" Alex's mouth dropped in disbelief, utter shock penetrating his piercing gaze.
"It's Chwismas tomorrow." Alex exclaimed, bouncing on the balls of his feet, grabbing Filip by the hand and tugging him down the stairs once again. Filip had to smile, it's been awhile since he had a Christmas, a real one. And he's almost afraid that maybe he's not made for it anymore, he's at a loss as to what he's suppose to do. But then he sees Alex and he knows the boy hasn't had the best Christmases either yet he's still excited as a pup, eyes sparkling with joy and a firm belief of Santa Claus held tight in his heart. Filip isn't really into Christmas anymore, but for Alex, he'll do anything just to keep that boy smiling.
They reach the bottom of the stairs, and just like he said, there's a small tree waiting there in the middle of the room. It's big, not super big or even normal-sized but it's way too big for Alex to have carried here himself.
It's not the prettiest thing either, pine needles falling all around it like lost hair, branches few and far between. It's like the tiny tree out of the Charlie Brown Christmas special Filip remembers watching years ago.
Filip can't stop the small laugh that escapes his lips. "Alex, where'd ya get that sad thing?"
"Shaddup, it's perfeck." Alex throws him a pout before disappearing down a hall; soon coming back with an oh-too-large box for the boy and all Filip can see is Alex's curls sticking up.
Filip grabs the box settling down in front of the tree with a glassy clank. He searches through the boxes and is amazed at the contents. "Where'd ya get all this?"
"Mizz O. She was throwin' 'em away. Said I could hav 'em." Alex sticks a hand in, picking through the box before coming up with a glossy gold garland covered hand. He yanks the rest of the trail out, arms flailing out trying to hold it all. Then he's up and running towards the tree, garland wrapped around legs and arms.
Filip watches in amusement as Alex tries to wrap the garland around the tree, the things at least two feet taller than him, and Filip lets him jump up and down a bit before getting up and helping. He sets the garland at the top and lets Alex do the bottom. Somehow the little guy gets himself practically tied to the tree, the gold garland firmly around his head. Filip's tempted to leave him there, a little Alex ornament of sorts; but he unties the younger boy when Alex starts complaining about not being able to finish the tree and Santa not being able to come. The whiny pitch Alex's uses in his distress is like puppy dog eyes to Filip.
Filip watches quietly from a corner as Alex dashes from the box to the tree. Picking out various ornaments and Filip notices the boys partial to Santa Claus quite a bit, Filip doesn't think he sees any other ornament but Santa.
It's an interesting picture, wild haired boy putting cracked and broken ornaments on a pitiful tree. Somehow it works though, and little by little Filip is enjoying this all the more.
"Here, put it on." Filip snaps out of his thoughts as Alex stands in the tips of his toes to dangle an ornament in Filip's face. It's a snowman, top hat in his right hand and he's blown glass with tints of blue and a yellow scarf. And Filip, for the life of him, can't figure out why this one was being thrown out.
"Wha's wrong with dis one?" Filip doesn't take the ornament but pokes at it to watch it dangle from it's hook.
"The red." Alex points to the snowmans chest, right where a random red dot covers the snowman where there's no red anywhere else. "Mizz O, says it's not suppose' to be there. But I think, it's his heart."
"Snowmen don't have hearts."
"Dis one does." Alex gives him the most serious look ever, eyes a navy blue and he shoves the ornament in Filio's face again. "Put it on."
"Don' wanna." Filip says quietly, pulling down on both of Alex's ears to make him squirm.
"You do it."
Alex sighs, frustration etching his face and it's strange how adult like he looks. Alex pulls at Filip's arm, forcing the snowman into his hand and pointing to the tree. "Putiton!" He talks so quick and then he's dashing for the box again leaving Filip with his mouth open catching flies. Filip sighs, staring at the snowman with a scrutinous gaze. "Heart huh?" He mutters. He slips the snowman in his pocket, he'll hang it at the end- once the rest of the tree is up.
Alex and Filip move silently back and forth, from box to the tree and back. Filip takes it leisurely but Alex acts like it's the olympics, blazing one way then the next. Before long they have the tree glittering with glass snowmen, red Santas, and golden everything else with touches of blue. Filip can see all the chips, cracks, missing parts and discolorations of each ornament; but somehow it looks even more beautiful because of it.
Filip reaches into the box again, looking for something particular. He knows that Mrs. O always has a lot of this stuff and he really hopes there's some in the box. He comes up with a handful of silver tinsel, strands falling to the floor and dangling from his hand. He comes up behind Alex, the boys staring at the tree (most likely wondering what to add), and brings his hand down hard on the kids head, smashing the tinsel into his hair.
Alex cries out in surprise, whirling on Filip, raven hair highlighted with silver, and launches after him. Filip deftly dodges, launching more tinsel at the younger boy. His laughter fills the room and echos off the walls as Alex tries to gather up some of the fallen tinsel and throw it back at Filip but he can't get the weightless stuff to fly and it all flutters back down around him.
"Not fair!" Alex shouts, again hopelessly trying to throw tinsel at Filip- who's just rolling with laughter. It's all in good fun but Alex doesn't like being shown up, he gives up on the tinsel, throwing the last bit on the tree to complete the icicle look (between all the throwing they miraculously managed to actually decorate the tree and not just each other.) He zeros in on Filip and lunges at him, sending them both tumbling to the ground. Filip never stops laughing and there's a splitting grin plastering Alex's face as light punches are thrown.
Filio gets Alex pinned to the ground, squirming underneath him, seemingly fighting for his life. Filip milks the moment for all it's humor before finally letting the kid up. They both sit in front of the tree, laughter passing between them until Alex stops suddenly and his face is pulled into a frown when Filip looks at him.
"Dere's no ligh's."
"A tree has to hav ligh's! Especially in Chwismas! I haf to find lights." Alex stumbles to his feet, moving to dig through the box, Filip Drifts up to his side to help but in seconds of fervent searching the boy come sup with lights and Filip snatches them out of the boys hands before he gets anywhere near the tree. Heat- of any form- is not something Filip trusts the boy with, at all.
He strings the lights up himself, muscle memory directing him right; so he strings just like his grandmother used to. Filip steps back admiring his work, the tree definitely looks better than it did earlier.
There's a soft crackle behind him and the lights flick on for a brief moment before snapping off just as quick. Filip, temporarily blinded, hears a cry from behind him and picks up the pungent stench of burnt wires. He whirls around running towards Alex who's holding his hand close to his chest and the plug for the lights is hanging half out the socket.
"Alex!" His shout startles the younger boy, whose wide blue eyes are pleading, and Filip yanks the cord out the wall, not wanting any other sparks to fly. "Wha's the matter with ya? Are ya nuts? Yeh coulda electer-cuted yerself!" His voice is strained and worried and he's not sure why he's even yelling. Nothing actually happened and it's doubtful anything would have happened aside from a mild shock but Alex hurt is not something Filip wants to experience.
"Is yer 'and a'ight?" Filip tries his best to speak softer, he knows his little outburst scared the pants off the little boy.
"I jus' wanned the ligh's to-"
"Yeah, yeah I know. Shaddup and lemme see yer 'and." Alex shows his hand to Filip wincing a little, but from what Filip can see there's nothing but a red welt. So the boys all right, but Filip realizes there's a talk he should have had with Alex long ago once the boy discovered what light was. "Now, yer fine but ya lis'en to me okay? Don' play with elektercy, or fire. So, don't be messin' with no stoves or lighters, or pow-wer outlets, or light bulbs for that matter."
"I don' play wif dat stuff." Alex snapped in defiance, injured hand forgotten.
"Don' touch 'em either than!"
"Meanie." And Alex sticks his tongue out at Alex before skulking over to the tree.
"'ey! I was jus'...' Filip stops as Alex's shoulder sag, and he forgets what he was gonna yell about and just walks over to the boy, wrapping an arm around said shoulders. "Wha's the matter?"
"It's not a Chwismas tree wifout ligh's." Alex replied sadly.
"The lights don' matter boy. It's a Christmas tree 'cause you say it is."
"Yeah...wha'ever." Alex pulled away from Filip, taking the stairs to his room one heavy foot after another. "Santa Claus only comes if y'er sleepin'. Go ta bed." He gives Filip a last look of complete seriousness before turning back towards the stairs and disappearing from view.
Leaving Filip to wonder just what happened. First electrical fires, then the kid's all upset about no lights and then turns around telling him to go to bed, like Alex is the boss of him or something when really the kid's at least three years younger than him.
However, it is two in the morning, and Filip honestly didn't want to be woken up this early anyway so he's more than happy to go to bed. He staggers upstairs, passing the already sleeping form of Alex and rolls into his own bed. He finally thinks about tomorrow and how sad Alex is gonna be when there are no presents under the tree; for who would put then there? His parents? Not in a million years. Santa? Certainly not, considering the big fat jolly man doesn't even exist. Filip wonders if he should have scalvaged, or stolen, some gifts for the boy. He's a young one anyway, kid enough to believe in such things as Santa and magic- it's not Filip's place to take that innoncence away, Lord knows the child's gonna need it. Then again, maybe it's for the best; end the belief early and save from more hurt in the future, avoid any unnecessay disappointment.
It's the thought he stays with, hoping it's true- but if it's supposed to better then why does he feel so bad about doing it. And better yet how is Alex gonna feel about it?
Filip tries to avoid his imagination bringing up that pictue and sleep claims him within minutes.
In the morning Alex wakes him again, this time by jumping all over his mattress and him, the excitement obvious in the boys electric blue eyes. That's when Filip thinks of how in only a few minutes the kid's gonna crash down from his joyful high when he realizes what Christmas is really gonna be like.
But Filip lets the kid drag him down the stairs anyway, staggering when the kid lets go before they hit the groundfloor. He's still half asleep and groggy, rubbing at his eyes as he steps next to Alex. The kid's gone completely silent and Filip knows the disappointment is setting in; he's mentally preparing himself for how's he's gonna deal with, the series of emotions that's soon to come. But then Alex lets out a quiet "Wow..." and his voice is so full of awe that Filip finally looks at the tree before him and he's not sure what's more shocking- the lights on the tree actually working, or, the mountain of presents that litter the underside of the tree.
"Holy..." And he doesn't even have any words for it, there's so many questions running through his head. How the presents got here? Whose are they? Who left them here? But more importantly, what's inside all the colorful gift wrapped boxes?
"I tol' ya! He's real!" And Alex is like a little spitfire diving into the mountain, coming up with arms full of gifts and all the boxes are either marked 'To Alex' or 'To Filip' and every single one is hand scrawled with 'From Santa Claus.'
Filip just stands there, too taken aback to do much of anything. And Alex has to drag him over to the presents to get him to open his. After the first couple, Filip finally snaps out of his shock and is tearing into the gifts just as much as Alex is.
By the end there's wrapping paoer everywhere, practically shredded to bits. And the boys have everything they didn't even know they wanted, because hoping would have been to painful. There's new clothes for the both of them, things they definitely need by their ratty appearance. There's trains and firetrucks, tons of crayons and paper, baseballs and mits, but both boys are completely enamored by the small Harley Davidson motorcycles that came in set of 6; three bikes for each of them.
Filip is setting about cleaning up the paper an hour or so later as Alex floats over by the tree. Filip has all but forgotten his questions and concerns- but right now he doesn't really care.
"Hey, look at dis..." Filip turns around, searching for Alex, the boy's sat by the tree. He gets up and tries to run towards Filip, falling flat on his face halfway there. But then he's in front of Filip with a small box in his hand shoving it into Filip's face. "It's yours, open it."
Filip gives him an incredulous look, wondering where the box came from; he was positive he got all the gifts. There's nothing special about this one, it's wrapped in blue and white paper, decorated with Santa Clauses, the name tag just says 'To Filip' with no 'from.' He gently opens the box, caution slowing his hands.
He almost drops the gift when he first sees it and his hand jumps to his pocket. Inside the gift box is a snowman, the snowman, the exact same one from last night. And truth be told Filip's pocket is empty.
"I t'ought I tol' you to put dat on the tree."
"I...didn' want to. It was in my pocket."
"Well, ob'iously Santa wan's it on the tree. Utterwise, he wouldna given it to ya." Filip looks at Alex and the boy is giving him the same no-nonsense-do-what-I-say-look his grandmother used to give him. He shakes his head but puts the ornament on the tree, completely puzzled as to how it ended up in the box but still hanging on to the belief that Santa is not real.
Alex takes the box from his hand and gives him the card that came with it, leaving Filip alone as he drifts off to put the empty box somewhere and no doubt go back to playing with the motorcycles.
Filip turns the card over and reads, it's a simple hand-scrawled note, only one sentence, with no signature or anything- 'Everyone has a heart, just believe.'
Hope you enjoyed. That's my little hats off to Mr. Kringle in the North Pole- I got your back man, see!- cause I just love this time of year.
Suggestions? Requests? Questions? Comments? Concerns? I take them all.
Reviews are much appreciated.